Recently at Reason: Alan Gura, Glenn Reynolds, Randy Barnett, and Other Civil Libertarians Respond to D.C. v. Heller


On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.'s draconian gun ban. What did District of Columbia v. Heller say, what does it mean, and what's likely to come next? reason assembled a panel of leading civil libertarians to find out.

NEXT: Arming America

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  1. Right Wing Shill | June 27, 2008, 7:46am | #
    Anybody up for trusting our liberties to “liberaltarian” appointed judges?

  2. I’ve said several times here that I’m of the tiny minority that cannot see the trees for the forest. So this ruling doesn’t do that much for me.
    Let’s face it. All the “Bill of Rights” were a slap-dash afterthought expressly designed for nothing more than the purpose of getting certain reluctant states to approve the Constitution.
    If any of the Founders had put “real” thought into the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment would have been a sequitur to the First; namely the right to put whatever substances we choose into our bodies, after the First staked out the right to put whatever ideas we choose into our heads–a far, far more radical right!
    And the First should have been the Tenth, but the goofball Founders we revere had zero sense of dramatic build-up.


  3. By the way, the phrase, “well-regulated militia” is proof the B Team wrote the Bill of Rights.
    (The B Team had to have chortled up their collective sleeve that it wasn’t stricken by higher-ups.)

    Put in today’s terms, a “well-regulated militia” is the equivalent of a well-regulated cluster-fuck.

  4. Gallaher —

    An unusually good point.

  5. oh good god. first they were a group of libertarians, and now they are “a leading group of civil libertarians”???

    wtf? Glen Reynolds is not a libertarian, certainly not a civil libertarian, and should only be invited to panels about boot polishing and such.

  6. You guys are harsh. Glen might not be the biggest libertarian in the world, but I’d take him any day over most. Besides, I bet he sends a lot of traffic to this website. He deserves some props just for that.

  7. While I was taking a break from here, happened to see my old aquaintance who was a star on “The Wire” playing the politician with the wide stance in the toilet stall on “Law and Order,” NBC.

    John and I were just recently getting reacquainted up at the 41st anniversary of our class in Quantico. We went to VN Language School concurrently.

    Small world.

  8. Everyone seems to be disappointed that the Court wasn’t aggressive enough in securing gun rights in this case. But look at the bright side of it:

    Most moderate con-gontrol supporters have hailed the ruling for its so-called “silver lining.” Had the Court’s position been more absolute, it would’ve set off a huge firestorm among liberals and Democrats–not good in a political climate that leans in that direction.

    Most people, I’d bet, already have a similar, moderate position opinion on guns anyway, and now that both presidential candidates have supported the decision, it won’t be an issue for the election. Or, if Obama is elected, for any choice of his for possible Court appointments.

    So be glad the Supremes ruled the way they did; expect more positive advances in the future to be made gradually.

  9. Gallaher, old boy, I see that what there is of our common experience of the 1960s has led us to many of the same conclusions.

    You are somewhat senior to me so you might just have arrived at those conclusions a lot earlier.

    I am still enough of a Tory to think we need some government, but enough of an an anarchist to think we have way too much.

  10. con-gontrol

    Is anyone really for gunt-rolls?

  11. Oh, shit! Well, you could call that a Freudian slip, but I can’t explain what would’ve influenced that typo.

    For the record, I’m pro-gontrol.

  12. Video evidence of gunt-rolls here

  13. Whats up with all the Hitler bashing lately, I just don’t get it?


  14. John Thomas-

    There have to be reasons why the west, before, during and after the cold war, has devoted so much more ink, hot air and hysteria to the former vagabond from Vienna than tovarisch Stalin.

    In Europe, the above statement cold subject one to a hate crime charge. THere are forces in this country that would have it that way-just for making an observation.

  15. Isaac Bartram,
    This is off-topic, but, if you mean my experience serving with the Marines in VN shaped my views of what our government can and can’t do effectively, you are right.
    Ironically “well-regulated militias,” the term itself being an oxymoron, are still the best way to have effective “national defense.”
    The Little Woman and I are recently back from an “insider’s” view–after 41 years–of the Basic School for new Marine officers in Quantico, VA, so this is a hot topic with me now. What we have with our “standing army” is a very effective sledge hammer–frighteningly effective. But what we need to build peace in the world are tack hammers. In other words, not a standing army.
    The “shock and awe” failure we experienced in Iraq should have convinced everyone that sledge hammers are not the right tool for the job, but they are an irresistible tool to a President.


  16. OT: Seems John Bachelor got back on the air. He is on live right now on WMAL 630 AM in the DC area. Not sure if he is on the whole ABC network again.

  17. I have always found it curious how people on the right see an absolute right to keep and bear arms in the second amendment, which, to be honest, uses weasel words (ie, the part about a well-regulated militia), yet they don’t see an absolute right to free speech in the first amendment despite a very clear “Congress shall pass no laws” and are willing to waive the illegal search and seizure bits of the fourth when it becomes convenient.

    And yet we still have obsenity laws that are actively enforced and no-knock raids on homes for misdemeanor, non-violent crimes.

  18. Metal Messiah, if you look to their meaning AT THE TIME for “well regulated,” it has nothing to do with Teddy Kennedy control freakery and everything to do with the ability to march/fight together (at the time, marching in unison was considered quite a bit more important than it is today). The words you call “weasel words” really only reflect their education in the conventional military wisdom of their day.

    OTOH, you’re absolutely right about many “conservative” thinkers doing a lot of doublethink these days, especially when it comes to the horrifying possibility of anyone having fun while having sex — much like the left’s reaction to anyone making a decent profit.

  19. OTOH, you’re absolutely right about many “conservative” thinkers doing a lot of doublethink these days, especially when it comes to the horrifying possibility of anyone having fun while having sex — much like the left’s reaction to anyone making a decent profit.

    Those are frequently the same “conservatives” who call for ‘windfall profits taxes’, restrictive zoning and all sorts of other things that have nothing to do with preserving individual rights or protecting the property of others, i.e., they are ‘conservative’ in name only.

  20. Metal Messiah, some of us see an absolute right to both.

  21. Metal Messiah,
    Read Wikipedia about “shouting fire in a crowded theatre,” and you will discover that was a bogus reason for violating the First Amentment. And it gets worse.

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